Harikrishna Strongest At Edmonton International

Harikrishna Strongest At Edmonton International

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jun 29, 2015, 1:31 PM |
16 | Chess Event Coverage

On Sunday GM Pentala Harikrishna won the Edmonton International in Edmonton, Canada. The 29-year-old Indian grandmaster finished a point ahead of GMs Wang Hao, Sury Ganguly and Vassily Ivanchuk.

All photos courtesy of the official website.

The 10th Edmonton International Chess Festival took place June 20-28 at the Edmonton Chess Club. Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, located on the North Saskatchewan River. 

The first six editions were organized by Vlad Rekhson, who then moved to Calgary. Micah Hughey took over as the organizer. Players such as Nigel Short, Alexander Moiseenko and Wesley So have participated in past editions.

The festival included a blitz tournament, a lecture by Surya Shekhar Ganguly and a simul by Pentala Harikrishna. The main event was a 10-player all-play-all, designed to score IM or GM norms. Elo differences are always bigger than usual in Edmonton; this year it ranged from 2733 to 2133.

The participans were Vassily Ivanchuk (2733), Pentala Harikrishna (2733), Wang Hao (2704), Sam Shankland (2656), Surya Ganguly (2625), Aman Hambleton (2446), Vladimir Pechenkin (2314), Agnieszka Matras-Clement (2269), Dale Haessel (2180) and Robert Gardner (2133).

Ganguly and Ivanchuk after their draw in the first round.

Last year Ivanchuk was on a roll, scoring 8.0/9. The Ukrainian genius was invited back, but did slightly worse this year: 6.5/9. Wang Hao and Ganguly ended on the same score. One grandmaster scored a full point more: Harikrishna.

Interestingly, “Hari” drew his games with Wang Hao, Ganguly and Ivanchuk, and defeated the rest.

The Indian GM might seem to be some kind of specialist in beating lower-rated players, but he told Chess.com: “In fact I had [a] tough position against Haessel, which somehow I managed to win. On the other hand against Ivanchuk, I had [a] promising position, which I misplayed.”

The game against Haessel was a classical Fianchetto Grünfeld, the way not many players play it anymore as Black — White is simply better if he plays healthy moves. The Canadian FM did just that for a while, but not long enough:

 

The game with Ivanchuk was another Fianchetto King's Indian, but here Black put his knight on c6. In a difficult middlegame Harikrishna ends up with the bishop pair, but perhaps it was better to keep the queens on the board.

 

Vassily Ivanchuk, not as impressive as last year.

“The last round against Wang Hao was tough to defend,” said Harikrishna. “Even though I was on 7.0/8 it all came down to one game as he was on 6.0/8. He could have won the tournament if he had beaten me.”

Here's that crucial game:

 

Pentala Harikrishna wins with 7.5/9 in a field where that's
only good for a TPR two points below his rating.

 

2015 Edmonton International | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Harikrishna,Pentala 2733 2731 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.5/9  
2 Wang,Hao 2704 2621 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5/9 24.75
3 Ganguly,Surya Shekhar 2625 2629 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 6.5/9 24.75
4 Ivanchuk,Vassily 2733 2618 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6.5/9 23.25
5 Shankland,Samuel 2656 2581 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 1 1 6.0/9  
6 Hambleton,Aman 2446 2445 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 1 4.0/9  
7 Pechenkin,Vladimir 2314 2377 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ 3.0/9  
8 Haessel,Dale 2180 2294 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 2.0/9 5.00
9 Matras-Clement,Agnieszka 2269 2285 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.0/9 3.00
10 Gardner,Robert 2133 2156 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/9  

 

The Edmonton International took place June 20-28 in Edmonton, Canada. | Games via TWIC  phpfCo1l0.png

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